Enjoying the chill in the air and dreaming up designs in velvet and wool.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Only One Like It In The Whole World

One of the reasons I so enjoy custom sewing is that everything I make is unique. Even when I do several of the same item, say for a bridal party, the custom fit to each person creates enjoyable challenges. Sometimes, to get a dress to look the same on different body types, I actually use very different base templates to generate my patterns. It's a game I play, with no hard and fast rules, to make unique items look like each other.

But often, I have the joy of making something that is really unique - I won't ever make something that looks exactly like it again. In this case, I had an unusual order; to design and make a dress for a beautiful young woman as her Christmas present (from her then-boyfriend! Fellows, take note!)...no inspiration photos or guidelines given, so that I had near-complete creative freedom with it. Yes.

I had been hoarding a cotton-blend
sheer fabric I'd picked up off a sale
table nearly a year previously; it was
a lovely light grey-blue with pairs of
narrow, textured stripes woven into
it. I wanted to take the combination
of softness and mathematical structure
and reflect it through the design of the

The idea for the buttons up the strap came
out of looking at photos of double-breasted
military jackets; the diagonally crossing layer
likewise from the decorative sashes sometimes
worn on dress uniforms; the lines of the bodice
itself are also very regular and regimented; but
I consciously attempted to make it all as soft
and feminine as possible with ruching, layers,
and a spiraling fall into a rose and a soft-ruffled
cascade down the floaty skirt.

All in all I was tickled pink with how it turned out, and am now thrilled to show you the stunning miss for whom it was made!

And while I have now listed this design in my dress shop, I won't ever make one with this fabric again, so there it is, the only one like it in the whole world.

They're getting married in a couple of weeks, by the way. Congratulations, you two!


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